PHL 2023 meat imports fell by 16% on higher domestic production — FAO

PHILIPPINE meat imports declined 16% in 2023 in the face of higher domestic production, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), an agency of the United Nations.

In a report, the FAO said that imports last year amounted to 1.05 million metric tons (MT), against 1.25 million MT in 2022.

“The import drop in the Philippines was driven by higher inventories and an upturn in domestic output, despite the extension (of favorable) tariff rates on pig meat imports,” it added.

Last year, the President signed Executive Order No. 50, which extended the lower tariff regime on pork, rice, and corn.

Pork tariffs were retained at 15% for shipments within the minimum access volume (MAV) and 25% for those exceeding the MAV.

Domestic production of meat increased 3.5% in 2023 to 2.99 million MT.

Pork production rose 2.5% to 1.25 million MT. Imports declined to 388 thousand MT from 521 thousand MT in 2022.

The National Federation of Hog Farmers, Inc. has estimated a 3% increase in domestic hog production for 2024.

Meanwhile, the FAO said global trade in meat and meat products dropped 1.5% to 40.5 million MT last year.

“(In terms of) trade performance at the country level, Japan registered the largest volume drop in imports, followed by the Philippines and the US,” it added. 

It reported that the contraction in global trade was mainly due to lower exports of pig meat, which fell 7.9%.

In the first quarter, meat imports rose 3.06% year on year to 273.64 million kilograms, driven by rising shipments of pork and beef. — Adrian H. Halili